During spring quarter we are planning for students in the Japanese Language & Culture program to have the opportunity to travel to Japan for approximately eight weeks. Language study will be concentrated in the town of Toyooka, located on the Japan Sea side of Hyogo Prefecture, about 60 miles Northwest of Kyoto:
Following language study in Toyooka,
students will spend a week to ten days visiting historical and cultural
sites in nearby Kobe, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. Students will also
spend a few days in Tokyo at both the start and the end of the trip.
03/31/03 - 04/04/03: Trip preparation (Evergreen)
04/07 [Monday]: Depart Seattle-Tacoma Airport
04/08 [Tuesday]: Arrive Tokyo (Narita) Airport
04/09 - 04/12: Cultural activities, Tokyo
04/12 [Saturday]: By train to Toyooka; meet host families
04/14 [Monday]: Japanese class begins at Ookagakuen
04/26 -05/05: "Golden Week"; individual travel/research
05/06 [Tuesday]: Japanese class resumes at Ookagakuen
05/16 [Friday]: Japanese class ends
05/17 [Saturday]: Depart Toyooka
05/17 - 05/26: Cultural activities in Kobe, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto
05/26 [Monday]: By Shinkansen to Tokyo
05/26 -05/28: Cultural activities, Tokyo
05/28 [Wednesday]: Depart Tokyo (Narita) for Seattle
05/28 [Wednesday]: Arrive Seattle-Tacoma Airport
06/02 - 06/06: Complete and present research papers
This itinerary is still being arranged and is subject to change,
depending on available lodging, transportation, etc.
The onsen [Hot Springs Resort] town
of Kinosaki is located a few minutes away from Toyooka by bus or train.
This is a pleasant place to come take a relaxing bath.
Also near to Toyooka is the old city
of Izushi, a traditional town with some fine old shrines and castle ruins,
as well as many traditional Japanese products, especially ceramics and
Located in the agricultural area surrounding Toyooka is the National Breeding Center for the Oriental White Stork. This is the last place in Japan inhabited by this highly symbolic (and very large) stork. Established in 1965, the center is dedicated to saving the species and reintroducing the stork into the wild. A fine museum of natural history describes the changes in the rural environment that led to the decline of the stork population and details steps being taken to return the birds to nature.
Other local attractions of note include
Genbu-do Park, possessing very interesting columnar lava formations; Kinosaki
Marine World, offering access to the underwater marine life of Sanriku
Beach Park; and Kei-no-hama Beach, where white sandy shores stretch for
more than 1km and offer the only windsurfing site in the area.
Students will study Japanese at Ookagakuen,
a privately operated institution located on the Southwestern edge of Toyooka
City. Shown above is the modern classroom building where language
classrooms, computer facilities, and the student lounge and restaurant
This is Miss Fujii. Fujiisan was
John Cushing's host at Ookagakuen, and is the person working to make arrangements
for our students. This picture was taken in an older Ookagakuen building
used for both classes and adminstrative offices.
Ookagakuen has excellent computer facilities
(both Macintosh and PC), and Evergreen students will have access to the
web and e-mail while they are studying there.
Shown above is one of the language classrooms.
Calligraphy and pottery are two of the
Japanese arts students will be able to explore at Ookagakuen under the
instruction of Japanese experts.
Athletic fields at Ookagakuen.
Ichiro once played here!
Lunchroom at Ookagakuen. The menu
lists common lunchtime offerings, including rice pilaf (about $2.25), udon
or ramen (about $2), and spaghetti (about $2).
Ookagakuen's kuma ["bear"] bus will
be used to provide transportation on field trips to places in the Toyooka
Ookagakuen also runs a dayschool and
childcare facility called "Kids House." Students who are interested
in learning more about Japanese education will be able to work with the
staff of Kids House.
Yours truly nearing the end of a long
and wonderful evening of Japanese food, drink, and karaoke. On the
left is Miss Fujii and on the right is Mrs. Ooka, owner of Ookagakuen.
Behind us is the owner of this karaoke bar. We all had a great time
singing "Suki ni natta hito" and other songs. Mrs. Ooka is a very
good enka singer.
[more information later...]